OZARK, Ala. (WDHN) — The Ozark Chamber of Commerce has shared guidelines from Main Street Alabama for local businesses to help them to keep their employees and customers safe while keeping their businesses running.  

Different businesses have different needs so the development program has issued the following tips.

Restaurant Tips

  • Post photos on social media showing employees cleaning tabletops and moving tables 6 feet apart.  
  • Partner with delivery service or create your own.  
  • Coffee shops who roast can set up a customer membership for “subscribe & save” delivery or pick-up of beans, get people to order for the next couple weeks  
  • Breweries can keep offering trivia nights by livestreaming and using an app that polls people’s responses, customers being encouraged to drink their brews while participating or getting extra points for posting a picture of them and their brews at home.  
  • Offer discounts on takeout  

Tips for Retail Businesses  

  • Promote products that will be offered once threat subsides.  
  • Do Facebook Live selling events. Host an event where you show, model, demonstrate, explain, give tips about your merchandise. Let customers buy by posting a comment and then allow them to pick up or deliver.  
  • Package products that can provide activities and experiences for those families hunkered down at home. Consider books, puzzles, coloring books, paint supplies, etc.  
  • Drug stores can package cleaning supplies and over the counter medication.  
  • Tips for Service Businesses 
  • Fitness studios can offer Livestreams to keep the public active while home. Yoga, for example would be a nice “calming” experience.  
  • Nail salons and hairdressers could host livestream experiences including upcoming trends, colors, styles and how-to demonstrations.  

Tips for ALL Businesses 

  • Offer discount (20%) when a customer shows a receipt from another small business 
  • Offer curbside or backdoor pickup  
  • Consider waiving signatures on charge slips so people don’t have to touch communal pens.  
  • Think about propping your doors open so people can come in without having to touch the door area… and think about what other areas of your store can be made “touchless.”  

Tips for Main Street programs 

  • Now that you have more eyes on social media, take advantage and create a positive narrative about your community. Share photos and stories about positive experiences in your district and businesses. 
  • Post open hours of the businesses.  
  • Contact your district Small Business Association office and consider hosting an online webinar with Q & A regarding small business economic injury disaster loan assistance program.  
  • Create virtual experiences throughout the district…sharing history, fun facts, etc.  
  • Promote the value of supporting local businesses.  
  • Compile information for consumers on all activities and how businesses are dealing with concerns. See South Huntsville blog post for an example.  
  • Coordinate online townhall style meetings and conference calls with your businesses to address their concerns. (Contact South Huntsville and Jasper for more info).  
  • Register for Georgia Main Street’s webinar on “How to keep people calm, how to communicate dearly, how to support businesses in light of social distancing and back-up plans for events. “March 19, 9 AM  

Tips for Consumers  

  • Buy Gift cards to put cash into the business  
  • Tip a little more than usual  
  • Make a commitment to support local businesses when possible.